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2 Lord. Lord Timon 's mad.
I feel 't upon my bones. 4 Lord. One day he gives us diamonds, next day
ACT IV..... SCENE I.
Without the Walls of Athens.
Tim. Let me look back upon thee, O thou wall,
8 stones.] As Timon has thrown nothing at his worthless guests, except warm water and empty dishes, I am induced, with Mr. Malone, to believe that the more ancient drama described in p. 303, had been read by our author, and that he supposed he had introduced from it the "painted stones" as part of his banquet; though in reality he had omitted them. The present mention therefore of such missiles, appears to want propriety.
general filths-] i. e. common sewers. Steevens. -green —] i. e. immature. So, in Antony and Cleopatra: "When I was green in judgment Steevens.
o' the brothel!] So the old copies. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads, i' the brothel. Johnson.
One would suppose it to mean, that the mistress frequented the brothel; and so Sir Thomas Hanmer understood it. Ritson.
The meaning is, go to thy master's bed, for he is alone; thy mistress is now of the brothel; is now there. In the old copy, i' th', o' th', and a' th', are written with very little care, or rather seem to have been set down at random in different places.
Pluck the lin❜d crutch from thy old limping sire,
"Of the brothel" is the true reading. So, in King Lear, Act II, sc. ii, the Steward says to Kent, "Art of the house?"
confounding contraries,] i. e. contrarieties whose nature it is to waste or destroy each other. So, in King Henry V: ——as doth a galled rock
"O'erhang and jutty his confounded base." Steevens.
yet confusion -] Sir Thomas Hanmer reads, let confusion; but the meaning may be, though by such confusion all things seem to hasten to dissolution, yet let not dissolution come, but the miseries of confusion continue. Johnson.
- liberty —] Liberty is here used for libertinism. So, in The Comedy of Errors:
"And many such like liberties of sin;"
apparently meaning-libertines. Steevens.
6 multiplying banns!] i. e. accumulated curses. Multiplying for multiplied: the active participle with a passive signification. See Vol. II, p. 186, n. 9. Steevens.
And grant, as Timon grows, his hate may grow
Athens. A Room in Timon's House.
Enter FLAVIUS," with Two or Three Servants.
1 Serv. Hear you, master steward, where 's our master? Are we undone? cast off? nothing remaining?
Flav. Alack, my fellows, what should I say to you? Let me be recorded by the righteous gods, I am as poor as you. 1 Serv. Such a house broke! So noble a master fallen! All gone! and not One friend, to take his fortune by the arm, And go along with him!
As we do turn our backs
7 Enter Flavius,] Nothing contributes more to the exaltation of Timon's character than the zeal and fidelity of his servants. Nothing but real virtue can be honoured by domesticks; nothing but impartial kindness can gain affection from dependants.
Johnson. 8 Let me be recorded-] In compliance with ancient elliptical phraseology, the word me, which disorders the measure, might be omitted Sir Thomas Hanmer reads:
Let it be recorded &c. Steevens.
to his buried fortunes-] So the old copies. Sir T. Hanmer reads from; but the old reading might stand. Johnson.
I should suppose that the words from, in the second line, and to in the third line, have been misplaced, and that the original reading was:
As we do turn our backs
To our companion thrown into his grave,
When we leave a person, we turn our backs to him, not from him. M Mason.
So his familiars to his buried fortunes &c.] So those who were familiar to his buried fortunes, who in the most ample manner participated of them, slink all away, &c. Malone.
A dedicated beggar to the air,
Walks, like contempt, alone.-More of our fellows.
Enter other Servants.
Flav. All broken implements of a ruin'd house.
Good fellows all,
The latest of my wealth I'll share amongst you.
-rich in sorrow, parting poor.] This conceit occurs again in King Lear: "Fairest Cordelia, thou art most rich, being poor."
"And Lupus, for your fierce credulity,
20, the fierce wretchedness —] I believe fierce is here used for hasty, precipitate. Perhaps it is employed in the same sense by Ben Jonson in his Poetaster:
In King Henry VIII, our author has fierce vanities. In all instances it may mean glaring, conspicuous, violent. So, in Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair, the Puritan says:
"Thy hobby-horse is an idol, a fierce and rank idol." Again, in King John:
"O vanity of sickness! fierce extremes
"In their continuance will not feel themselves." Again, in Love's Labour's Lost:
"With all the fierce endeavour of your wit." Steevens. VOL. XV.
Tim. O blessed breeding sun, draw from the earth
3 • Strange, unusual blood,] Of this passage, I suppose, every reader would wish for a correction: but the word, harsh as it is, stands fortified by the rhyme, to which, perhaps, it owes its introduction. I know not what to propose. Perhaps—
Strange, unusual mood,
may, by some, be thought better, and by others worse. Johnson. In The Yorkshire Tragedy, 1608, attributed to Shakspeare, blood seems to be used for inclination, propensity:
"For 'tis our blood to love what we are forbidden." Strange, unusual blood, may therefore mean, strange unusual disposition.
Again, in the 5th Book of Gower, De Confessione Amantis, fol. iii, b:
"And thus of thilke unkinde blood
"Stant the memorie unto this daie."
Gower is speaking of the ingratitude of one Adrian, a lord of
Throughout these plays blood is frequently used in the sense of natural propensity or disposition. Malone.
below thy sister's orb-] That is, the moon's, this sublunary world. Johnson.